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March 17, 2021

Best Deadlift Cues for Beginner to Intermediate Lifters

deadlift cues for beginner to intermediate lifters with Annie Miller

The deadlift might be one of the most feared and poorly performed lifts in globo gyms, crossfit boxes, and garage gyms everywhere.

Let’s get some facts straight before we dive into form, cues and specifics.

Deadlifts are a compound lower body pulling exercise. They are largely a posterior chain movement (glutes, hamstrings, upper and lower back) but there is certainly a demand on your quads and core as well.

Deadlifts aren’t bad for your back. Deadlifts do not need to be feared, or demonized.

Now, let us swipe to see deadlift cues/performance goals to think about the next time you deadlift (specifically conventional deadlift).

Note: How you set up as A LOT to do with how this movement will go for you. Especially working with light/medium loads. If you can nail and hone in on your set up, then all you need to do is LITERALLY stand up – push the floor away, while staying locked in.


  • Feet shoulder width or inside (for conventional).
  • Stance width determines grip width.
  • Feet straight forward or pointed out slightly.
  • Shoulders over bar.
  • Angle of shins, hip height and shoulder position will LARGELY depend on limb/body lengths (femur : tibia : torso : arm).
  • Brace, find tension in the hamstrings, big chest and stand ‘er up.

We cover form extensively inside Movement 101 and the Big Lift Audit.

If you had to do Sumo deads or conventional deads forever, which would you choose? I LOVE sumos, but functionally, I think conventional.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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